Hard throwing over the top right-hander started off red hot in AA before struggling a bit in AAA. Recovered to finish strong and comes in as the #17 prospect.
Age (as of Jun 30th) : 24
2021 Level: AA/AAA
Pitches (current/future value)
Most Likely Future Role: Multi-inning reliever
Ceiling: 5th starter
What we know: Acquired in the Dylan Bundy trade, this 24-year old right-hander made his Orioles organization debut in 2021 by starting off by dominating AA batters in three starts before getting promoted to AAA. Using mostly a 93-96 mph overhand fastball and a curveball, Bradish was able to dominate younger more experienced hitters but found AAA a little more challenging.
After finding the AAA/Major league ball a little more challenging to get that hard late break, Bradish struggled at times in AAA putting up a 5.74 ERA and having batters slash .291/.374..442/.816 off him in his first 10 starts. Seeing that the curveball wasn’t working as well and his changeup was not consistent and too hard, Bradish started working on a high 80s’s slider that by his last month was his go to breaking ball. That along with his cutting fastball gave him enough pitches to miss AAA bats.
Over his last 11 starts he put up a 2.93 ERA over 46 IP, striking out 52 and walking 16 while holding AAA batters to a 218/.283/.382/.666 slash.
While some seem to think he can stick as a starter, there are several reason running against him. First off, his velocity seems to trail off as the game goes on. He typically starts games off in the 94-96 mph range, but he starts to trail off and by 70 pitches or so, he typically pitches around 90-93 MPH range though he can still hump it up to 94-95 on occasion. He also doesn’t have great command of anything though he was able to throw strikes enough with fastball and slider. His fastball plays well in the upper part of the zone, but can get barreled in the middle of the plate.
Has changeup has never really developed into a consistent pitch and if he can’t spin an effective curveball with the major league ball, that leaves him as a fastball, slider pitcher. Saying that, the fastball with its natural cutting action and the slider gives him too tough pitches over a short duration.
What we don’t know: Can he find the spin on his breaking ball enough to use it again as a consistent offering? Can he develop the changeup enough to give him some kind of off speed pitch to partner with his fastball and slider?
What we think: With an extreme overhead delivery and only two good pitches right now, it’s hard to see Bradish having long term success in a the rotation. If he can spin that curveball effectively again and if he can find a consistent change, he might be able to to be back end starter, but he also needs to prove he can hold his velocity well into 100 pitches.
More likely Bradish’s best role will be as a fastball, cut fastball, slider guy out of the pen where his velocity could spike into the upper 90s in shorter stints. It not totally out of the question that he can’t stick as a starter, but as of now, his best role will be in a major league bullpen where he could be a high leverage reliever who can miss bats and get both righties and lefties out in key situations.